Anybody who has flown recently knows that the perks are quickly diminishing. Things that were complimentary a few years ago are now either not or they don’t even exist. United has become one of culprit of this, and it was exemplified in my recent flight from Washington Dulles to Benito Juarez in Mexico City.
The first leg of the trip started out like any other. I self checked-in at the United desk, paid for my extra bag ($40), and was on my way. Security at Dulles is stereotypical… a well organized cluster f***. Luckily, TSA realized the line was absurd, so they made it fast track, meaning they only required you to empty your pockets. Your shoes, belts, and light sweaters were allowed to remain on.
When it was time to depart, United was right on time with everything. That made me happy because far too often, they’ve been delayed for some reason or another. It seemed like for the first time ever, everyone on board was competent and boarded in a timely and efficient manner.
Now some of you may or may not have experience with United’s new economy seats. I for one am not too fond of them. First of all, they don’t recline. According to United, they’re “already at a perfect recline, leaving space for the people behind you, yet still allowing you to be comfortable.” I think this is a load of crap. I completely understand how frustrating it is when someone is all the way reclined and invading your space. On the other hand, most people who have decency never recline all the way in economy. I believe that we should have the option to recline farther, but not to the extent they used to be at.
Along with smaller seats, United has also gone and decreased the size of the seat pockets. I know this may sound a little petty, but I did not know how nice this amenity was until it was gone. I couldn’t fit my book in the pocket, and I think that is just wrong.
Furthermore, United has gotten rid of their on-board in flight entertainment. Instead, they’ve gone online, allowing people to use their personal devices to access it using the United App. This is a blessing and a curse. For those of us who decided to travel without a PED, we were stuck without entertainment. This isn’t the worst thing in the world, but having those movies and TV shows definitely help the time go by. However, United does offer in flight WIFI for $8.99. I personally believe that’s a pretty sweet deal.
Okay, you think it’s bad so far, wait until you hear this. On a 4.5 hour international flight, United provided absolutely no complimentary snacks and/or meals. I was flying during meal times too! Everything was for purchase, and that really grinded my gears. Get this, on my 2.5 hour flight from MEX to HAV, Cubana gave us a full meal. Cubana had better service than United. That’s sad.
Just some more information for you, when I checked in for my flight back from MEX-IAD, I inquired about a possible upgrade. On an aircraft with a sub-par business class, upgrading would have cost me $350. I’m glad I didn’t decide to do it because I would have been extremely disappointed.
United is sliding down a slippery slope. Every one tries to make budget cut, but when it takes away from the experience and the customer satisfaction, it becomes a real problem.